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vkic-sanman-2019

The Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture today conferred its VKIC Sanmaan for the year 2019 on Nabam Tata of Arunachal Pradesh. The honour is in recognition of his lifetime endeavour to protect and propagate the culture of the Nyishi Community, which in turn has inspired indigenous faith movements in other parts of the State.

Tata, from the days of his youth, has overcome great odds to carry out research and documentation on Nyishi culture. His years of efforts in different parts of Nyishi territories have resulted in the creation of a rich repository of folk culture, literature and oral history. Today, the Nyishi have a sense and pride and identity built on their rejuvenated cultural roots.

A proponent of indigenous faith and culture, Tata has acted in many plays and films, which includes playing the protagonist in the first feature film of Arunachal Pradesh which was directed by the Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Since then he has also composed new songs and verse which reflect the Nyishi traditional beliefs and practices.

Accepting the award, Tata expressed his gratitude to Vivekananda Kendra, particularly for spreading education through its schools and enabling the community to preserve their own cultural inheritance. “Today, people in our state know that if a child is studying in a Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, the student will turn out as a fine human being. The VKIC too has come forward to document our ancient customs and traditions.” He said efforts must continue to rejuvenate the cultural roots of all indigenous communities.

Speaking as the Chief Guest in the programme, Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), asserted that North East India is actually at the heart of Indian culture and also Akahnda Bharat that extends between Afghanistan and Indonesia. It is also here that a great vault of traditional textiles, handicrafts, and other artefacts exist side by side. It is a range so rich and varied that it is larger than that located in a region like Europe.

He exhorted the audience to take pride in their ancient heritage, and draw inspiration from it. The idea of India cannot be comprehended if we see the country as merely 70 years old. The actual reality is that its cultural traditions have flowed ceaselessly for more than millennia. Dr Joshi underlined the need to have an education system in which culture becomes an integral part.

In his welcome address, Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Chairman VKIC mentioned that VKIC’fs Foundation Day celebrates the attempt at man-making and nation building at the intellectual level. This day is also to remember with solemnity Mananeeya Eknath Ramkrishna Ranade, who had conceived the idea of VKIC as a means carry out research and documentation that would lead to culture nurturing unity. 

“The Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, as a project of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, is at the forefront of protecting and promoting the indigenous culture of North East India. We have many challenges, but VKIC is dedicated to overcome those,” he added.

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